Our Board

FRRR’s Board of Directors remained unchanged from the prior year. It is made up of a group of experienced and knowledgeable individuals who have strong backgrounds in both rural affairs and in the practise of philanthropy.

The Board is responsible for providing strategic direction, maintaining appropriate governance structures and monitoring the organisation's performance, financial and otherwise. We are very appreciative of the voluntary guidance provided by the following people, pictured above, beginning with the main photo:

Ian Allen OAM

Ian brings considerable experience from philanthropy, the arts, international marketing, corporate citizenship, major corporate entertainment, property management, aviation and cost reduction programs. As a performer, producer and promoter Ian has shared the stage with many acclaimed Australian and international artists. He is a board member of many charitable and community entities, including The Pratt Foundation, the Global Poverty Project, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Entertainment Assist and the Australian Jewish Funders. Ian has been an FRRR board member since 2001 and Chairs the Small Grants for Rural Communities Assessment Committee and the McEwen Foundation program for the Goulburn Valley. He is also a member of Skills, Training, Education & Practical Support Assessment Committee for the 2009 Victorian bushfire affected communities.

Margaret Smith AO

Margaret Smith has had a long involvement in rural Australia, and particularly the iconic Country Women’s Association (CWA). She was National President from 1997-2000, and New South Wales State President from 1992-1995. Awarded an AO in 1999 for services to women in rural and remote areas, Margaret brings wide networks and strong knowledge to the Board of FRRR, which she has been part of since 2000. Margaret is a member of both the Small Grants for Rural Communities and the Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA) grants programs.

The Rt Hon. Ian Sinclair AC - Chairman

With a distinguished political career spanning more than 37 years, The Rt Hon Ian Sinclair has spent most of his life advocating for rural and regional communities. Ian assumed the role of Chair of the FRRR Board on its formation in 2000, and has since demonstrated exceptional leadership in challenging economic circumstances.

Lindy Shelmerdine

Lindy Shelmerdine has been a member of various boards and sub-committees of private companies. She has served as a Director with not-for-profit boards, including Earthwatch Institute, Australia. Lindy is a Director of a family grazing company and continues to have an interest in sustainable farming practices. Lindy is a member of the Small Grants for Rural Communities grants program, and the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program.

Paddy Handbury

Paddy Handbury has a long history of working in rural and regional Australia, and more recently his interests have diversified into property development. Paddy also has a deep commitment to education and remains strongly involved in rural Australia, serving as a Director of the FRRR Board since 2009.  Paddy is Chair of the Skills, Training, Education & Practical Support (STEPS) program for 2009 Victorian bushfire affected communities, and a member of the Finance & Audit Committee, REAPing Rewards, as well as the 2011 Repair-Restore-Renew (RRR) program.

Fred Grimwade

Fred Grimwade grew up on a sheep and cattle property in Central Victoria before studying law and working briefly as a commercial lawyer and then as an investment banker in New York and Sydney. Fred has continued his involvement in agriculture and mining, holding Directorships with a leading Australian almond producer, Select Harvests, and FRRR, which he joined in 2011. Fred is a member of FRRR’s Finance & Audit Committee.

Alexandra Gartmann - Chief Executive Officer

Alexandra joined FRRR in April 2011, having previously served as CEO of Birchip Cropping Group. Alexandra also holds a number of roles including Chair of the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship Advisory Council, member of the National Rural Advisory Council, member of the Australian Landcare Council, Board member of Rural Finance, member of the Victorian Agriculture Advisory Council (VAAC) and member of the La Trobe University Bendigo Regional Advisory Board.

Bill Kelty AC

Bill Kelty was a prominent figure in Australian industrial relations during a formative phase in Australia’s trade union movement. Significantly, Bill was responsible for helping to negotiate national fiscal policy, including the introduction of compulsory superannuation for the Australian workforce. Bill was a recipient of the Centenary Medal in 2003, and the Companion of the Order of Australia in 2008. He joined FRRR on its formation in 2000 and is Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee, as well as the ANZ Seeds of Renewal grants program.

Tim Fairfax AM (insert)

Tim Fairfax AM is a businessman, pastoralist and philanthropist. He is chairman of various Foundations and holds a number of other Directorships. Tim’s business interests extend to ten rural properties in Queensland and New South Wales involving beef cattle, fine wool and grains, and have equipped him with extensive knowledge of agricultural and regional affairs. Tim chairs a number of committees, including the Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA), and the 2011 Repair-Restore-Renew (RRR) programs. Tim also lends his time as a member of the Finance & Audit Committee.

Glenys Beauchamp PSM (insert)

Glenys Beauchamp is a senior government executive who was awarded the Public Service Medal in her capacity as Deputy Secretary at Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs where she was responsible for coordinating a whole-of-government response, in partnership with the Victorian Government, to the 2009 Victorian bushfire tragedy.  During this time, Glenys developed a close affiliation with FRRR, and subsequently was invited to join the Board in 2011. Glenys joined the Board as Secretary of the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport.